Communication technology for the E-mobility charging infrastructure
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The energy transition is playing an important role on the way to climate neutrality. Road traffic will contribute its share by replacing combustion engines with electric drive systems based on green electricity. In addition to drive and battery technology, charging options are the key success factor here. Numerous, reliable and flexible charging points are therefore essential to make e-mobility viable and to provide the future infrastructure for road traffic.
This is by no means relevant only to energy suppliers, grid providers and automobile companies. Every company with interfaces to E-mobility needs to expect changes and opportunities, and to actively shape them: it is entirely possible that in your environment, too, there will be a need for action in the areas of charging station solutions, charging network operation or fleet management.
The following interactive illustration shows the individual processes of a charging operation:
You can use an app to search for a charging point, reserve it and activate it after you arrive. Alternatively, charging cards in the credit card format are used, and payment via a credit card terminal is now required by law.
The vehicle’s charging socket is connected to the charging point via the appropriate charging cable – in Europe these are so-called Type 2 or CSS plugs. As a charging customer you need to carry the appropriate cable with you.
If you have booked in advance, the charging process often starts automatically. In individual cases the start must be confirmed at the charging station or in your app.
Depending on the capacity of the charging point, the process can take up to several hours. Unlike with petrol, vehicles are often not fully charged. Please note: after a grace period following the completion of a full charge, many providers charge extra if you don’t clear the charging station for an extended period of time.
During the charging process, the plugs on the vehicle and the column can’t simply be removed. You have to terminate the charging process by authorising the payment via your charging card or the smartphone app in order to be able to disconnect the cable. The charging station or your app will confirm the amount of electricity used, which will be charged to you via a billing system. Terms and payment arrangements differ depending on the provider. Legislation currently stipulates that charging stations must also support credit card payments in the future.
For vehicle communication, Powerline according to ISO15118-3 is used in order to also use the charging connection as a data connection. In addition, there is the standard for the correct selection of charging modes according to IEC 61851. Furthermore, it must be taken into account that load control – in particular throttling or disconnection – may have to be controllable by the energy suppliers in the future.
Technically complex protocols are used in the communication between the charging point and the vehicle. Solutions are also used in the data exchange between the charging point and the respective billing systems to ensure security for users and providers: sensors for environmental conditions, protection against tampering and vandalism, encryption for charging statuses and billing, etc.
If you have to charge, you have to charge. Just as petrol pumps at a filling station very rarely fail to work, the availability of charging stations should always be high.
Whether it’s reservation, release, charging or billing: the entire process must be consistently protected against manipulation or errors. This is essential for providers and users.
The individual process steps between reservation, charging and billing must be transparent and trouble-free.
You provide charging stations as a complete technical solution that can be used in private or public spaces. AC-based solutions deliver charging capacities of up to 22 kW, while DC solutions with direct current enable so-called “fast charging stations”. Unlike the wallbox for the home, public charging stations are subject to strict requirements for functional safety and IT security in order to comply with applicable standards and robustness requirements.
We support charging station manufacturers with reliable internet communication for the charging station (versatile router technology and mobile radio), remote access options and IT security, especially for operation and billing. In addition, we provide know-how, advice and solutions in data communication between the vehicle and the charging station (powerline as per ISO15118-3).
or you reliability, high availability, functionality and also future-proofing through updates and upgrades are at the top of the priority list, because as a provider you are responsible for the overall operation of many charging stations.
Data communication is therefore crucial for charging network operators, because the infrastructure for charging stations differs from place to place. Monitoring and, if necessary, redundant communication channels via mobile radio communication are important here, so that operation, maintenance or fault correction and ultimately billing all work properly.
For you, e-mobility is an overall service. You offer charging solutions in a purchase or rental model and for a wide variety of purposes, often managing groups of vehicles or entire fleets. This involves flexible solutions such as equipping charging stations in an underground car park, where mobile communication and load management are key issues. Cars are not necessarily the target area. E-buses or other types of vehicles such as delivery vehicles also fall into this category, where intensive continuous operation has to be guaranteed and automated as far as possible.
In order to make e-mobility practical, INSYS icom offers a powerful combination of solutions expertise, products and technology:
This makes INSYS icom a strategic partner when it comes to ensuring smooth and trouble-free overall operation and also designing your own applications in order to develop new operating models.
A hardware communication solution, often in the form of a specialised chip, that enables data communication within power grids. This uses a form of the powerline protocol, which is also known for the extension of IP networks via sockets, accordingly allowing charging points and vehicle systems to communicate for the switching, start and end of the charging process.
AC stands for alternating current. Charging capacity of up to 22 kW is typical. DC means direct current. Much higher charging capacity of 200 kW and more is possible here, but direct current is predominantly found in industrial environments and along motorways. DC charging still dominates in the commercial sector and along motorways.
Protocol for data communication between an electric vehicle and a charging station, which supports the Combined Charging System (CCS). Smart charging and plug & charge are envisaged in terms of energy storage, load/charge management in the smart grid and for flexible charging rates.
This basic standard, which is intended for electrified vehicles, regulates different charging modes on the “physical layer” in order to keep the charging start and the charging session compatible via different high-level protocols (e.g. ISO15118).
In most cases there isn’t an unlimited amount of charging current available for multiple charging stations. Overall power therefore has to be intelligently managed and distributed, taking into account the number of vehicles to be charged. This is one of the important functions in the field of fleet management or at locations with many charging points.
This is the term used for the five-pin (Type 1) and seven-pin (Type 2) physical charging plugs for various electric vehicles. Charging stations and vehicles in Europe mostly use the Type 2 plug. For charging, IEC 61851 is used to manage the charging process. The combo plug supplements Type 2 with additional power contacts and a fast-charging function up to 170 kW.
This refers to a charging station that can be conveniently mounted on a wall. These are often solutions for end users.
The brand name and technology used by the vehicle manufacturer Tesla. These charging stations offer a lot of charging power (> 100 kW), but are based on proprietary technology and are usually not available for use by others.
We are happy to answer your specific questions and problems.